Dawn Wright, Geographer, Oceanographer, and pioneering authority in the use of GIS to ocean and coastal science. She was the first African-American female to dive to the ocean floor in the ALVIN submersible, owned by the Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
"I think the interest in science went very hand in hand. I started off first, like many children, being totally taken by the Apollo moon missions. Apollo 11 was just, it was one of those things where you remember what you were doing, exactly where you were when a certain world event took place. And I remember, as clear as a bell, being in front of the TV on my living room floor, just transfixed by the Apollo 11 mission. But then after that, I really turned again towards an interest in the oceans, and my first thought was to become an underwater photographer, because that's what I understood Jacques Cousteau to be. He was a photographer and a videographer, not necessarily a scientist. But very soon after that idea, I really got attracted by science itself. Especially geologic science and especially volcanoes, again being on Hawaii and knowing about the active volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii.”
“It it was mainly just admiring the science, admiring the oceans, and admiring a lot of people who studied the oceans. My mother would always give me an article or point me to something on TV, like, ‘See, look what this scientist is doing," or “See, looks what's happening here." And it just continued to be an internal encouragement.”
Oregon State, Photograph by ESRI